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Darrin Fresh Water Institute
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A semester of study at the Darrin Fresh Water Institute gives our students the opportunity to perform real research that they often wouldn’t have in a traditional classroom setting.

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Undergraduate Research Symposium
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The annual Undergraduate Research Symposium provides students the opportunity to present and display their research in a research conference environment and compete for cash prizes.

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Center for Earthquake Engineering Simulation
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The Undergraduate Research Program through the Center for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (CEES) provides undergraduate students the opportunity to work in the CEES facility. In spring 2011, eleven URP students worked alongside lab staff in the 150-g ton centrifuge facility.

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Student Research

Changing the world, one step at a time...

Rensselaer strongly encourages undergraduate students from all five schools to take part in the Institute’s vibrant research enterprise.

Several programs are in place to help students identify undergraduate research opportunities.

Undergraduate Research Program

Every year, the Office of Undergraduate Education sponsors more than 700 students participating in the Undergraduate Research Program (URP). The URP is open to all students.

Whether the choice is to join and augment an ongoing research project, or to seek faculty guidance in pursuit of research ideas, the program provides students with the opportunity to make research an integral part of their Rensselaer undergraduate education.

Under the URP, students may pursue research for academic credit, as a paid assistant in a research project, or for the experience of working in the labs of world-leading Rensselaer faculty researchers.

As a paid assistant, the Office of Undergraduate Education provides matching funds for students who receive a stipend from a sponsoring department or faculty member. Research opportunities are available during the academic year.

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is a unique, exciting opportunity for students to spend the summer months immersed in leading-edge research with their faculty advisor.

Application to the 10-week, full-time program begins with the submission of a research proposal that is competitively reviewed by a panel of faculty members.

Geared for more seasoned undergraduate researchers, SURP includes a research stipend for students and is a rich, sustained research experience that will be a memorable and rewarding component of the academic career.

Examples of recent undergraduate research at Rensselaer include:

  • Working to develop a microbial fuel design that could be used to treat both drinking water and wastewater, with a net production of electricity.
  • Seeking to produce encapsulant materials for LEDs that have higher refractive indexes and are more optically transparent, thereby allowing for a higher transmission of light.
  • Mining data from the Department of Energy’s Lighting Facts and CALIPER programs to explore how the industry is changing and the diffusion of LEDs in the marketplace.
  • Characterizing the relationship between genetic damage and lifespan, to determine whether mutations in genes produce corresponding increases or decreases in genetic damage during aging.
  • Investigating mechanisms that can influence diffusion in the spine, to determine how drug regimens they can prevent or reverse disc degeneration.
  • Exploring how decision-making differs as a function of cultural background, using standardized behavioral experiments, to determine if some cultures more conducive for entrepreneurship than others.
Additional Funded Research Opportunities

There are many other undergraduate research opportunities at Rensselaer. With the help of faculty members, many students secure external funding to pursue research opportunities in their field of interest. Additionally, grants and other funding awarded to faculty members often include a dedicated budget to support undergraduate research experiences.

Many different research centers at Rensselaer also regularly engage undergraduate researchers during the academic year and in the summer months.

Undergraduate Research Brochure (PDF)
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Undergraduate Research Brochure (PDF)
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The Office of Undergraduate Education and faculty researchers can also assist students in identifying summer research opportunities at federal laboratories around the country, or international research internships around the globe.

Research Conferences and Publications

As undergraduate researchers, students have the opportunity to showcase their research findings to faculty and peers in a professional setting at the annual undergraduate research conference at Rensselaer. Students may submit papers to be assessed by a panel of faculty members, and many prizes are awarded.

Rensselaer encourages all students to seek out opportunities for presenting these papers at national conferences, or to co-author expanded articles with faculty mentors for publication in research journals.
 

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Page updated: 1/27/14, 3:51 PM